Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Every once in a while I read a book that is so good I’m not sure if I can write a review. There is something about reviewing an amazing book that is horribly intimidating—nothing I could ever say will do this justice! Frankly, I find it nerve-racking to comment on something so purely awesome. What is there to say besides “wow”? Cheryl Strayed’s autobiography Wild was almost one of those books for me. Is there any aspect could I possibly rehash? How could any explanation of this book be enough? Then I decided I enjoyed Wild so much I had to talk about it, no matter how inadequately.

I remember when I first heard about the book Eat, Pray, Love.  Many of my most beloved friends raved about how spectacular it was. In their words, I absolutely had to experience this journey of a self discovery. Needless to say, my expectations were high. Then a funny thing happened, I couldn’t even hack it to Italy. I disliked the book that much. Who is this whinny, self-absorbed woman? I really wanted to like it, to experience the same camaraderie with the narrator as my friends, but I couldn’t. Where am I going with this? Well, Cheryl Strayed’s Wild is everything I hoped for in Eat, Pray, Love and then some. She is a woman caught up in pain who has made some self-destructive decisions. The key difference is that I found Cheryl Strayed to be likeable and genuine. I also might be impartial to any story about hiking. Might.

Say what you will about Oprah, but her book-selecting minions know their stuff. There is a reason she resurrected Oprah’s Book Club for this title—it’s that good, people. I strongly recommend Wild to any summer reader looking for an adventurous escape.  

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